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TRAINING & EDUCATION


least favourite part of their job was dealing with IT systems, which suggests that there’s a critical need for IT consultants and training in the spa community. When it came to education, 66 per


cent of respondents had two- to four-year college degrees and financial management was seen as the most important skill set for a successful spa career. They valued this ahead of understanding spa treatments, being a strong leader and HR aspects, and delivering excellent customer service. But here is the surprise: they ranked


themselves below these aspects on skill attainment. A huge gap exists between what spa managers know is important and what they feel they can actually do. Ninety-four per cent of respondents


said that having a mentor is important, especially in relation to two specific skill sets: leadership and HR. Meanwhile they feel training and education is most impor- tant for learning about a number of other aspects including spa treatments and culture; financial management; marketing, PR and sales; information systems; retail;


FORMING THE SPA MANAGEMENT EDUCATION COMMITTEE


4,000 students enrolled in spa manage- ment-related degree programmes. These were the head-spinning statistics from the 2012 Spa Management Workforce & Education study which was conducted by SRI International on behalf of the Global Spa & Wellness Summit (GSWS). It also revealed that: One – We don’t have enough trained spa managers for the growing number of spas worldwide. And there’s no well-defined educational or career pathway Two – The are only a few college-level courses that specifically cover the ‘hard skills’ needed in the spa business. As a result, there’s a shortage of technical/ business skills at management level Three – Few spa companies invest resources to adequately train their staff


T


here are up to 180,000 spa managers and directors in the global spa industry with only


do this by serving as an advisory board, releasing guidelines on core competen- cies, as well as networking at schools. In early 2013, Lori Hutchinson of


The main goal of the committee is to improve the industry’s management system


The Spa Management Education


Committee was formed in light of these findings at the suggestion of GSWS board member Anna Bjurstam. Its purpose is to improve the industry’s management system by bridging the gaps between three stake- holders – educational institutes, training providers and spa businesses. It aims to


Hutchinson Consulting and Jeremy McCarthy, group director of spas at Mandarin Oriental, co-chaired a sub-committee working on career paths, internships, and mentorships. Committee members were: Elena Bogacheva (SWIC), Angela Cortright (Spa Gregorie’s), Aldina Duarte Ramos (Accor), Elaine Fenard (Spa Strategy), Nancy Griffin (Contento Mar- keting), Kim Matheson Shedrick (Natural Resources Spa Consulting), Geeta Morar (SVA Spas & Salons), Deborah Smith (Smith Club & Spa Specialists) and Ana Taffin d’Heursel (Six Senses Spas). The sub-committee focused on


conducting the survey of global spa managers to learn about their opinions on their education and career paths.


and strategic planning. People recognise that mentoring is important, but also believe that academic training teaches the essential business skills.


What’s next? Overall, the Spa Management Career Trends Survey confirmed the findings of an earlier piece of industry research: the 2012 Spa Management Workforce & Education study by SRI International. Both highlight that there are many opportuni- ties and challenges for the worldwide


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spa business handbook 2014


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